New East Digital Archive

WWF launches camouflage fashion line to save Bulgarian national park

6 September 2017

WWF has launched a new collection of camouflage wear in Bulgaria, with the aim of raising awareness about growing plans for destructive urbanisation in Pirin National Park.

The collection, Camouflage for Pirin, features camouflage prints of construction sites and other industrial activities, drawing attention to potential policy changes in Bulgaria that could be disastrous for the park’s ancient forests and ecosystems. A new management plan will increase by 12.5 times the area where construction is permitted to take place, with more than 60 per cent of the park open to logging. The plan could be approved at any minute by the Bulgarian government, with the new rules taking immediate effect.

While the collection looks to tackle this pressing issue, its communication remains playful and light-hearted, describing its target consumers as “trendsetters, who want to be one step ahead in blending in with Pirin’s [...] scenery”. Moreover, the brand plays up its historical roots, claiming it draws inspiration from when “UNESCO excluded the Bansko and Dobrinishte ski areas (part of Pirin National Park) from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after confirming that nature there had been irreversibly damaged and urbanised by skiing facilities”.

Beyond the T-shirts, trousers, jackets and leggings, the collection is hoping to whip up support to prevent the new plan from being implemented. On their website, they include a link to a petition addressed to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, urging him not to approve the “disastrous new draft management plan of Pirin National Park”. At the time of writing, the petition has just over 100,000 signatures, with a goal of amassing 150,000.

Pirin National Park is located in southwest Bulgaria, covering most of the Pirin Mountains, and is one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites severely threatened by urbanisation.